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Can a DWI Stop Me from Owning a Firearm?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2018 | DWI, Felony DWI, Weapons Offenses

On May 25, 2018, cnn.com reported: “We’re 21 weeks into 2018, and there have already been 23 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed. That averages to 1 shooting a week.” Of those 23 school shootings, two were in Texas.

On January 22, 2018, there was a shooting in Italy, Texas where a 15-year-old student opened fire, wounding another 15-year-old student. Then, on May 18, 2018, 10 people were shot and killed in a shooting that occurred at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas.

Texans cannot forget the mass shooting that occurred at First Baptist Church on November 5, 2017 in Sutherland Springs. That shooting took the lives of 27 people and injured 20 more. If it weren’t for the Good Samaritan who chased the shooter with his own rifle, more people probably would have been killed.

How a DWI Affects Gun Rights

With active shooters and other dangerous characters being armed and dangerous, it’s understandable why citizens would cherish their gun rights more than ever to protect themselves, their families and their communities.

But when citizens are arrested for a crime, such as Driving While Intoxicated, they often wonder if the DWI could bar them from buying or possessing firearms in Texas. “Can a DWI conviction bar me from possessing a firearm?” It depends.

Generally, a misdemeanor DWI conviction will not bar someone from owning a firearm; however, a felony DWI will block someone from possessing firearms for years.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Unlawful possession of a firearm is covered under Section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code.
  • If you are convicted of a felony, including felony DWI, you cannot possess a firearm until it’s been at least five yearssince you were released from confinement, community supervision, mandatory supervision, or parole, whichever happens later.
  • If you are convicted of felony DWI and you possess a firearm before you’re
    legally allowed to do so, you commit a felony under Sec. 46.04.

Related: Effects of a Texas DWI

If you have further questions about how a felony DWI can impact your gun rights in Texas, contact Dallas DWI Attorney, Peter Barrett for advice.